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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Tuesday, March 02, 2004


Dean Delegate Day

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, March 02, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
Zephyr at the o-blog reminds us that today is also Vermont Town Meeting Day - the epitome of small-d democracy, in the fine New England Tradition. I also hear that there are some delegates being assigned today - unfortunately Texas is not part of Super Tues because of a Delay. Tom Delay, to be precise.

But our duty is clear. As the essay from the Burlington Free Press says:

The ancient Greeks and the American founders believed that a community reflects the character and virtues of its members. By fostering close human relations, politics in a democracy enables individuals to transcend selfish interests and consider the community's well-being.

Whether all that goes on in a typical Vermont town meeting is another issue, but it is a reminder of the potential intimacy of local democracy compared with the alienating remoteness of large-scale politics.

Town meeting participation can be personally transforming. Many people discover new self-confidence when speaking their minds before their neighbors. Their voice matters; their arguments have been taken seriously. Such personal empowerment is at the core of the democratic ideal and forms the base of community.

Individuals can make a difference. They do every year on Town Meeting Day in Vermont.

That's exactly the point of the Dean campaign - reminding us of the cllective, integrative nature of small-d. Casting our vote for Dean today and every other primary or caucus day is how we, the People, can return to the roots of our democracy and the principles upon which our Republic was founded.

and take your small-d democracy back.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.